By Keivan Zokaei


2016 was the year of the unexpected!

Brexit, Donald Trump, the Italian referendum, death of celebrities such as David Bowie and Prince, Chicago Cubs winning the World Series ending the team’s 108-year drought, Leicester City winning the English Premier League against all the odds, and the list goes on. Our universe is, indeed, an embodiment of variation, often indiscriminately exerting its ruthless forces of change. Those unprecedented events of last year were mere reminders that life is about continuous adaptation,  absorbing change and learning to always expect the unexpected. That’s precisely what Dr. Deming meant when he said: “It is not necessary to change! Survival is not mandatory.”

So far, there is nothing new. The world keeps changing and we have no choice but to learn to adapt. Isn’t that exactly why we have lean, six sigma, theory of constraints and numerous other schools of thought for managing change and for creating enterprise excellence?  The answer, quite clearly is ‘yes’; but there is, as always, a catch!

While we are busily playing catch up with the everchanging forces of universe, both in life and in business, life is passing us by very quickly. So, let’s not forget to enjoy the process of change, rather than merely waiting on the proceeds of it. That is to learn to be HAPPY. Today, innovative companies are combining their continuous improvement programmes with positive psychology, or in simple words, with methods for being ‘happy’. Cutting-edge corporations are learning that wellbeing of their people translates directly into better adaptability and better change management, which in turn brings more efficiency and effectiveness.

That’s why ASSA ABLOY Hospitality wisely combined their lean journey with an ‘I am happy campaign’. As a company rapidly moving from the world of manufacturing towards service and solution, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality knew that the ‘happy factor’ is a vital ingredient of enterprise excellence. We have been proudly facilitating this change journey.

Watch this short video to hear the story directly from the champions:

Dolores Shore, formerly Global HR Director at ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and now VP of HR for ASSA ABLOY APAC, and one of the key masterminds behind the story says: “We started our lean journey with Enterprize Excellence in late 2013 to develop the foundations of a lean and sigma programme. Since then we  have taken many steps to improve upon our lean culture: we have trained more than 10 percent of our employees to become lean champions, saving us millions of Euros and making us more cost efficient. Later we also adopted an “I am Happy” campaign into the equation to help us capture the power of positive psychology and to reinforce employee happiness as an important ingredient to our success.”

At Enterprize Excellence we would be pleased to hear about your needs and to help with your own happy continuous improvement journey.

What 2017 is going to bring us is the unknown. The question is whether you are ready to absorb those inevitable variations, in business and in life? And have you considered to enjoy the process of change as well as its proceeds?